Beach Vacation Packing List

May 27, 2017

beach vacation checklist

Looking for a beach vacation packing list?

I’ve got you covered!

If you’re like me then the night before you’re ready to head on a trip to a beach destination you’re running around like a fool trying to stuff whatever you can grab into your beach bag without any organization at all.

I used to be a total mess whenever I had to pack for something and I would always leave it to the last minute thinking that I had everything under control.

It’s usually me that’s in charge of packing everything for my boyfriend and I so that we’re ready for the beach the next day, and  a few times he got pretty grumpy when I forgot some of the most important things (can’t blame him since one time we had to drive 25 miles back home to get some sunscreen).

To be honest, I’m completely jealous of the people out there with an amazing memory that are able to easily pack everything they need and not spend half the night worrying if they got everything!

Recently, I wanted to make a change so I could get well rested the night before a trip, so I decided to write up a complete and helpful beach vacation checklist that I could use to be positive I packed everything I needed to bring.

So far, it has been super helpful! And with the beach season fast approaching I wanted to share it with you guys so you could have an easier time preparing for the beach as well.

The Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List

picnic on the beach

Personal Items to Pack First

These are the main personal items you want to make sure are packed and ready by the door.

Toss these into your travel wallet and into your purse first thing so you don’t have to worry if you forgot something important when you’re half way there!

  • Cash
  • Credit Cards and Debit Cards
  • Personal ID (Drivers Licenses, Passport, etc)
  • Car Insurance Papers (if they’re not in the car)
  • Health Card (or proof of health insurance if you’re traveling abroad)
  • Hotel Rental Confirmation (or any other confirmation papers you might need)


It’s a good idea to have some variety in the clothing you’re bringing. 

Make sure to bring a dress as well as a t-shirt, just in case you get burned and want to cover up when you’re out walking around.

  • Bathing Suits (it’s a good idea to bring two pairs each, an extra for both of you, and extras for your kids as well if you’re traveling with them)
  • Swimming T-shirt (bring an extra t-shirt along that you can swim in if the sun is strong)
  • Underwear (bring extra in case one pair gets wet)
  • Bras (As many as you need for the duration of your trip)
  • Socks (One pair is a good idea, even if you plan on mostly wearing sandals)
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Dresses/Sundresses/Skirts
  • Jeans/Pants/Capris
  • Nice Outfit (bring one nicer outfit if you plan on going out for a fancy dinner or grabbing some wine by the water)
  • Light Sweater (in case it gets chilly at night)
  • Workout Clothes + Workout Tech (if necessary)
  • Pyjamas (something comfortable to sleep in)
  • Sandals and Flip Flops (depending on what you prefer wearing, or both if you want to bring some nicer summer footwear)
  • Water shoes (if you’re worried about a rocky beach)
  • Running shoes (only if you want, not necessary during the summer)


It’s a good idea to pre-pack everything into a dedicated toiletry bag. 

This helps to keep everything organized and easy to access when you need it. 

Make sure to keep sunscreen in a separate Ziplock bag.

  • Body Soap
  • Loofah or Wash Cloth
  • Face Wash or Face Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Creams
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Retainer (if anyone wears one)
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razors (or electric razor depending on what you use)
  • Hair Straightener (or Curling Iron)
  • Hair Dryer (if needed)
  • Hair Brushes and Combs
  • Hair Elastics and Clips
  • Hair Products (cream, gel, spray, etc)
  • Shower Cap (if you wear one)
  • Feminine Products (depending on the time)
  • Jewelry
  • Perfume and Cologne (if you’re planning on wearing any)
  • Cotton Balls/Cotton Swabs/Q-Tips
  • Nail Care Accessories (polish, remover, clippers)
  • Vaseline or Body Lotions

Medication and Vitamins 

This is an important part of your packing list and your medicine and vitamins are something you definitely don’t want to forget.

Along with any medication or vitamins you’re taking regularly, there are a few other things in this portion that you should consider bringing.

  • Your medication
  • Your boyfriends or husbands medication
  • Your kids medication
  • Allergy Medication (if needed)
  • First-Aid Kit (Make sure you check it before you leave so you know that it’s full of everything you need and not missing any key pieces)
  • Vitamins
  • Aspirin/Tylenol (for headaches and other common ailments)
  • Motrin/Benadryl (just in case someone gets sick while you’re at the beach)

Beach Supplies 

beach picnic

Once you finally get to the beach you want to make sure you’re able to enjoy yourself while you’re there and have a good time relaxing in the sun and frolicking in the water.

  • Umbrella or Beach Tent/Canopy
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Chairs
  • Cooler (with wheels or without, your preference)
  • Portable Cooler for the Car
  • Beach Wagon (makes carrying everything a lot easier)
  • Beach Toys (for the kids)
  • Your Favorite Beach Bag
  • Waterproof Bags (for your wallets, smartphones, etc)
  • Goggles/Floats/Life Jackets (for the kids)
  • Snorkel Set
  • Drinks (chill them the night before)
  • Food (prepare everything the night before and pack it in the morning)
  • Plastic Cutlery
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Bags (for garbage)
  • Sunscreen (waterproof, of course)
  • Lip Balm (keep your lips protected)
  • Bug Spray (great if you’re visiting a lake or river area)
  • Sunglasses/Sun Hats
  • Baby Wipes (makes cleaning up a lot easier)
  • Hand Sanitizer

Technology and Entertainment

smartphone boat beach

Some people like to hit the beach with just a book in hand, but I’m a huge fan of listening to music, browsing my eReader, or just chilling on the iPad while I listen to the sounds of the surf behind me. 

There’s no shame in bringing some of your favorite tech and entertainment with you, especially if you’re going to be spending more than just a day at the beach.

  • Camera (keep it in the car or in the hotel if you plan on spending most of your day in the water)
  • Waterproof Camera (I’m a huge fan of the GoPro)
  • iPad
  • Portable and Waterproof Speakers (great for some beach jam sessions)
  • Kindle or Your Favorites eReader
  • All Cords and Chargers
  • Books and Magazines
  • Sports Equipment (frisbee, basketball, tennis ball, badminton set, etc)
  • Board Games
  • Deck of Cards
  • Notebook (for writing down your memories)

Car Checklist

road trip list

If you’re going to be driving to the beach then there might be a few extra things that you should keep in mind so that you don’t forget to bring them with you in the car.

  • Car Cords, Adapter, and Chargers
  • Snacks
  • Drinks (pre-chilled if possible)
  • Plastic Bag (use for garbage)
  • Smartphone or MP3 Player
  • Travel Pillow

Home Care 

Here are some of the things you want to double check if you’re going to be spending a few nights away from home and leaving your house empty for more than just the day.

  • Dog Sitter Arranged (if you’re not taking your dogs)
  • House Sitter (have the neighbors keep an eye on your property)
  • Empty Garbage (you don’t want garbage sitting and waiting for you)
  • Fridge Emptied of Quick Perishables
  • Mail Removed from Box
  • Thermostat Adjusted
  • Doors and Windows Locked

Quick Tips

Hopefully this helpful beach vacation checklist makes it easier for you to get everything prepared and head to the beach without getting too stressed out or worked up.

This list has been really helpful for me to make sure that I have everything packed and ready to go so that I’m not running around the next morning looking for something that I forgot.

If you’re just heading away for the day, then you definitely don’t need everything that I mentioned in the list above.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to you spend a few days away from home, make sure to dedicate at least an hour to get everything packed up.

Don’t forget to double check your house or apartment before you leave to make sure that everything is locked up and prepared for your absence.

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and try not to get too stressed out about packing everything!



Beach vacation checklist



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